For Fans Of
If, for whatever strange reason, you keep up with the goings-on up in the Brisbane alternative music scene, then Bloom Parade may not need an introduction to you. So feel free to skip this bit if that applies to you. Yet if you fall into the majority of people that don’t keep tabs on Brisbane, or its alternative music scene for that matter, let me introduce you both. Bloom Parade, you guys. You guys, Bloom Parade. And though some of this band’s members have cut their teeth hard in hardcore bands beforehand, this is very much not a hardcore record.
There are certain records that tend to stick with what you were doing the very first time you hear them; the tracks pulling back feelings of certain events like flicking through a series of snapshots and recalling the emotions attached to them. Take for example Citizen’s album ‘Youth‘, an album that takes me back to sitting in the back of a shitty van on yet another 10-hour drive for my band’s tour. Albums that are soundtracks to my own nostalgia. Now cut to me, sitting in my car, driving into the sunset on some shitty country back road. And while I do wish that was just a literary device, this was where and how I first listened to ‘Sunblushed‘, the latest EP from Bloom Parade. This event is forever intrinsically linked in my mind. For you see, this little bud of a dreamy alternative rock EP has that certain – pardon my French here – je ne sais quoi that is seemingly quite hard to capture. But Bloom Parade nail it down.
What you get here is a short, sweet and earnest four-track EP that feels like something of a daydream of longing for a certain feeling, or like the end credits to a late 90s coming of age film. Songs of those little moments that are forever burnt into your mind. The standout track for me in this regard was the third song, ‘Sheets‘, which starts off as a peeled-back, semi-acoustic number that’s reminiscent of Toy Boats, before building in waves until reaching its crescendo in a little over three minutes flat. The other three tracks you’ll find here – ‘Recurring Dream‘, ‘Golden‘ and ‘The Light That Fills The Room‘ – are slightly more upbeat. They’re all awash with dreamy (meaning the reverb is fucking CRANKED) melodic guitars and synths, and a thunderous rhythm section juxtaposed against sombre, wistful singing. Not unlike the influences that this young band so proudly wears on their sleeve(s).
And let’s talk about that: their influences. It is incredibly hard not to say that this new package – musically and thematically – is presented as somewhat derivative of the music of bands like Turnover and Citizen. That’s not a bad thing at all, as both are very good bands. But certain songs here sound like they could’ve easily been found on the cutting room floor from the ‘Peripheral Vision‘ recording sessions. Similar to what other Australian bands like Postblue and Deafcult do as well. Which, again, ain’t a bad thing at all, and to be truthful, is extremely hard to pull off well, but this EP does seem to be a product of the times, treading an already worn path in the process. Yet Bloom Parade are still in their infancy as a band and they’re already off to a pretty solid start. So do with this shinfo what you will.
For what I feel ‘Sunblushed’ lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in being able to actually capture real feelings; like these four songs are snapshots of fleeting moments from your life. And what it does do, it does very fucking well. This could almost comfortably sit alongside most bands on the Run For Cover roster too. But in saying that, I also can’t shake that “I’ve already heard this before” feeling. Bloom Parade are a solid young band that I’d LOVE to hear more from but also see them grow fully into their own over time.
1. Recurring Dream
4. The Light That Fills The Room
‘Sunblushed’ is out now via Last Ride Records.